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How Will Stringent Chemical Legislation Impact Cleaning Companies?

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In this post, we discuss how more stringent chemical legislation in the UK is likely to have a significant impact on how many cleaning companies currently operate, and take a closer look at the benefits of biological cleaning products.


  • What Are Biological Cleaning Products?
  • Overview Of The “Invisible Workforce” Findings Report
  • Impending Changes To Chemical Legislation
  • Julius Rutherfoord: Working In Partnership With Green Suppliers

What Are Biological Cleaning Products?

Whilst the use of potent chemical cleaning agents has long been considered the norm, the benefits of integrating biological solutions into everyday cleaning processes is slowly creeping into our collective consciousness. Now more than ever, establishments are reconsidering their decision to hire commercial cleaning companies in London that don’t offer chemical-free, environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Instead of using harsh (and often harmful) chemical solutions to sanitise surfaces, such as office desks and kitchen countertops, safer to use, enzyme-based biological cleaning products are a much more sustainable (and therefore attractive) solution.

Biological cleaning products contain harmless bacteria that produce enzymes to breakdown dirt and stains. These bacteria then eat the remaining molecules. They are 99% biodegradable, contain no harmful chemicals and continue to work after their application.

It is not just the environment that’s at risk, however; chemical cleaning products – extensively labelled with poison symbols to alert cleaners to the presence of hazardous chemicals – can cause health problems or injuries if inadequate training has been given and no protective clothing and equipment has been provided.

Biological cleaning products are:

  • 99.99% biodegradable
  • High performing and efficient, even at relatively low temperatures
  • Safer for cleaning operatives to use

Overview Of The “Invisible Workforce” Findings Report

Since 2011, the government buying standard (GBS) for cleaning products has been mandatory for central government departments and encouraged for the wider public sector. When setting the GBS, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who owns GBS, takes into consideration:

  • Energy in use
  • Water in use
  • End of life costs:
    • Repairability
    • Upgradeability
    • Recyclability
  • Hazardness of materials used
  • Resource efficiency – quantities of scarce materials used and recycled content

With increasing focus on green practices to protect our environment and ever-increasing stringent regulations, biological cleaning products offer a logical and effective solution for all cleaning companies looking to provide a safer, environmentally-friendly service.

In 2013, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a project to examine employment practices within the cleaning sector in the UK. Published in August 2014, the report, titled ‘The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practices in the Cleaning Sector’, covered a number of topics, from unlawful discrimination within the sector, to poor employment practises.

One area of concern which was highlighted was the use of harsh cleaning chemicals. Whilst most respondents reported that they did not feel exposed to risk or hazard in the workplace, ‘a small number felt they hadn’t received enough training about chemical use’.

The report also found that cleaning firms that offer ‘longer contract lengths, paid a living wage and supported daytime cleaning [so that] workers [had] more sociable hours’ were all beneficial to workers wellbeing, happiness and productivity – all things which Julius Rutherfoord support.

Impending Changes To Chemical Legislation

Following the report, regulations for the cleaning industry are currently being compiled by the Commission, and the use of safe biological cleaning products – which are less hazardous to cleaners’ health and the environment – will almost certainly be recommended as best practice. Where this isn’t possible, employers must ensure adequate supplies of protective gear, which are regularly maintained and replaced where necessary for the welfare of cleaners.

Here at Julius Rutherfoord, we ensure that every cleaner has passed our BICSc-accredited training programme (ran by accredited trainers) before they’re able to carry out any cleaning. Whether it’s learning about a new health and safety procedure or a more eco-friendly sanitisation method, they’re required to re-train at least once every six months.

Julius Rutherfoord: Working In Partnership With Green Suppliers

As a planet-conscious cleaning company in London which is passionate about taking large steps towards sustainable development, we invest heavily in products and technology which are proven to be less harmful to the environment and our health.

As part of our ongoing efforts, we have recently partnered with InnuScience, a global biotechnology company committed to the development of environmentally-responsible biological cleaning products.

If you would like to find out more about our award-winning cleaning services, or want to chat with one of our friendly advisors about your establishment, don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can call us on 020 7819 6700 or send us a message to Alternatively, you can follow us on Twitter J_Rutherfoord for frequent news and updates!

Julius Rutherfoord